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WD, Seagate Recover From HDD Shipment Shortage

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 29 comments

Both Seagate and Western Digital have improved their HDD shipments following the disastrous Thailand flood last year.

Seagate's CEO Steven Luczo said that more drives are shipping, but the low-point of supply was not in November as previously believed, but "closer to mid-December".

Seagate shipped 61 million drives in the first quarter (13 percent of which were Samsung drives), up from about 47 million units in Q4 of 2011. Western Digital said it shipped about 44 million drives, up from 28.5 million units in the prior quarter. Seagate's revenue climbed to $4.4 billion, the net income was $1.1 billion WD's revenue was $3.0 billion and net income $483 million. Both companies also recently gained in market capitalization again. Seagate currently stands at about $13.11 billion, while WD is at $9.74 billion.

Luczo told analysts that the HDD industry will continue its current pace of recovery. In Q4 2011, a total of 119 million drives were shipped, while Q1 saw estimated total shipments of about 140 million units.  The total available market (TAM) for Q2 will be 160 million drives, 180 million for Q3 and up to 190 million for Q4, according to Seagate. However, Luczo did not say how many drives Seagate will be able to ship in those quarters. The executive noted that "distribution pricing [of hard drives] remains well above historical spreads" and there remains a "a substantial and growing shortfall in unmet exabyte demand resulting from the supply-chain disruptions caused by the floods."

WD's John Coyne was a bit more optimistic and told analysts that "the recovery activities related to both WD operations and those of [its] supply chain partners impacted by the Thailand floods have reached the point where [the company] now [has] the capability to adequately meet anticipated customer demand in the current quarter and beyond."

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  • 24 Hide
    mrpijey , April 30, 2012 5:25 PM
    Good (even when I know it's partially a lie manipulated by all manufacturers to drive up profit), now take down the prices a notch or two. And improve the quality of your crappy drives as they tend to crash more often than ever.
  • 15 Hide
    wavetrex , April 30, 2012 5:45 PM
    They've already got us by the balls. It's just that most don't realize it yet.
  • 13 Hide
    CaedenV , April 30, 2012 5:32 PM
    mrpijeyGood (even when I know it's partially a lie manipulated by all manufacturers to drive up profit), now take down the prices a notch or two. And improve the quality of your crappy drives as they tend to crash more often than ever.

    Prices are already falling ~$10-20/month on 2TB drives, it will not be long now before we start seeing prices where we are use to seeing them again.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    mrpijey , April 30, 2012 5:25 PM
    Good (even when I know it's partially a lie manipulated by all manufacturers to drive up profit), now take down the prices a notch or two. And improve the quality of your crappy drives as they tend to crash more often than ever.
  • 13 Hide
    CaedenV , April 30, 2012 5:32 PM
    mrpijeyGood (even when I know it's partially a lie manipulated by all manufacturers to drive up profit), now take down the prices a notch or two. And improve the quality of your crappy drives as they tend to crash more often than ever.

    Prices are already falling ~$10-20/month on 2TB drives, it will not be long now before we start seeing prices where we are use to seeing them again.
  • 9 Hide
    confish21 , April 30, 2012 5:32 PM
    I still think their quality has dropped. Especially seagate. The fail rates are just bs.
  • 7 Hide
    Nakal , April 30, 2012 5:32 PM
    Well therein lies the problem. There used to be a good number of HDD manufacturers (Maxtor, Seagate, IBM, WD, Hitatchi etc..) now it is down to almost 2 (if the most recent merger goes through.)
  • 7 Hide
    Northwestern , April 30, 2012 5:36 PM
    I'll be going for WB, as they have a better rate of failure over Seagate.

    I'll also give it another month to let the prices drop before I ditch my 40GB drives for a terabyte. I "tera-bly" need it!
  • 5 Hide
    bdubdc , April 30, 2012 5:37 PM
    essentially, there are two manufactures of standard 3.5 inch drives... seagate and wd. if they collude, they've got us by the balls.
  • 15 Hide
    wavetrex , April 30, 2012 5:45 PM
    They've already got us by the balls. It's just that most don't realize it yet.
  • 6 Hide
    ubercake , April 30, 2012 5:48 PM
    Can we say all the eggs in one basket?

    I haven't even considered an HDD purchase since I started hearing about this in the news.

    Does everyone realize Thailand floods every year? Not like this every year, but there's definitely risk every year. It's like putting your business on the banks of New Orleans. Is that a risk you'd be willing to take? The insurance companies won't?

    Definitely seems like a last hurrah for the HDD market. They could charge all the OEMs dependent on them quite a few more bucks as consumers backed off directly purchasing the drives. In the meantime, SSDs become more numerous, the production price becomes lower, and in turn the cost to the consumer decreases. Neither Seagate or WD has become a major player in the SSD space. WD made a half-arsed effort early on with prices well beyond the competition, but you don't see their SSDs for sale anywhere these days.

    It's unfortunate because I really trust my WD mechanical drives. I would think they could bring that same quality to the SSD market. Intel has been doing a good job of fulfilling my storage needs since the price of the HDDs skyrocketed. Not as much space as an HDD, but definitely superior performance.
  • -7 Hide
    f-14 , April 30, 2012 6:17 PM
    don't care, SSD drives are now starting to fall to less than a dollar per GB. even ASUS has made a special SSD adapter to fit right onto a motherboard header next to the CPU and memory that fits a 120GB SSD card slightly bigger than 2 thumbs. why do i want a big clunky NOISY disc drive any more?
    if all goes well with the design ASUS came up with, we won't need big clunky noisy drives of any kind any more. i see this bluray bit as a last ditch money sucking scheme by the MPAA and RIAA to keep pushing obsolete technology like cpu/gpu makers with all the various modes and slight speed increases and socket changes.
    memory card readers have been around since the early 2000's and yet they are still using discs, .wav and mp3's were the wake up call. youtube is another. we already know who won the battle of disc vs. file media.
    720p=96
    1080p=128
    i haven't d/l or made any file less then 256 since encoders came out, i certainly don't use movies that are less then 1200p with only 8-track 1970's options.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , April 30, 2012 6:37 PM
    I occasionally check the price of a WD drive (WD2002FAEX, 2TB SATA 6GB/s, 64MB cache) at NewEgg as a test. The price is tracked at: http://camelegg.com/product/N82E16822136792. This drive just went UP $10, higher than it has been priced since mid December. Now $269. It was as low as $129 before the flood. As low as $199 in March. Perhaps NewEgg need to get the news of the "recovery". There are better prices elsewhere, but NewEgg is a good reference point (or WAS a good reference point).
  • 1 Hide
    captaincharisma , April 30, 2012 7:02 PM
    Quote:
    don't care, SSD drives are now starting to fall to less than a dollar per GB. even ASUS has made a special SSD adapter to fit right onto a motherboard header next to the CPU and memory that fits a 120GB SSD card slightly bigger than 2 thumbs. why do i want a big clunky NOISY disc drive any more?
    if all goes well with the design ASUS came up with, we won't need big clunky noisy drives of any kind any more. i see this bluray bit as a last ditch money sucking scheme by the MPAA and RIAA to keep pushing obsolete technology like cpu/gpu makers with all the various modes and slight speed increases and socket changes.
    memory card readers have been around since the early 2000's and yet they are still using discs, .wav and mp3's were the wake up call. youtube is another. we already know who won the battle of disc vs. file media.
    720p=96
    1080p=128
    i haven't d/l or made any file less then 256 since encoders came out, i certainly don't use movies that are less then 1200p with only 8-track 1970's options.


    so what? they are still pricier and right now consumers are still stuck with SSD's with a max of 120-200GB. you can make SSD's cheaper than magnetic drives but they are still nothing but a windows partition
  • 9 Hide
    captaincharisma , April 30, 2012 7:14 PM
    Quote:
    The Samsung spinpoints are now made by Seagate, ewww.


    well there goes a 3rd choice for hard drives
  • 3 Hide
    spectrewind , April 30, 2012 7:21 PM
    IMO: WD > Seagate just on the warranty alone.

    I own both. I have been through the warranty process of both. I seem to see equal product failures between them. Seagate wants log files from SEATOOLs. They also want users to make use of the spare sector feature in seatools to "fix" hard drives that are going bad before sending them in.

    WD, on the other hand, will accept a WDDIAGS error result code in their website (consumer grade, RE edition, etc) and let you choose to do an advanced replacement (give them your CC and they will send you a replacement drive first).

    I have used the WD advanced replacement program several times form myself and for corporate use. It has always worked. Since the drives are mechanical, and all drives will eventually fail, guaranteed, I want one with a user-friendly warranty service.

    Just my practical approach. It works for me.
  • 3 Hide
    drwho1 , April 30, 2012 8:00 PM
    Is been a long time since I have seen a decent 2TB drive for $79 dollars.
    I'm pretty sure that they hit a little lower than that just 3 days before this whole fiasco.

    Yes, I still call it a fiasco, because that's what this whole thing has been.

    If it wasn't then how did they instantly triple the price on the drives?
    Drives that were already on US soil, drives that never got wet?

    Now 2TB are just too small for my needs, I will wait a bit longer until at least 4TB are around $100.... or lower. (my real target are 5TB, which we should had already, but with all this fiasco I guess is going to get a bit longer to get them.)
  • 3 Hide
    hannibal , April 30, 2012 8:27 PM
    Well, when there are only two manufacturers left, it may be that we will newer see as low prices as they used to be... The ssd is coming down so slow, that there is no "need" to make fast drop...
    Pity... Seems to be very much alike CPU and GPU situation at this moment. The prices remains the same...
  • 6 Hide
    dgingeri , April 30, 2012 8:37 PM
    now if the prices will come back down to earth...
  • -2 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , April 30, 2012 10:11 PM
    ssd's ftw
  • 4 Hide
    techguy911 , April 30, 2012 10:37 PM
    I own a computer store i use to buy wd drives last year i bought 30 wd blue and green drives ALL have failed within 3 months.
    This year i have bought 30 seagate drives that have gone out in systems not one has come back yet,wd blacks do last longer but blue and green wd drives have really high failure rates.
    Also half the laptops we sold had wd blue scorpio's and failed within 3 months wd really needs to look at those drives esp the greens are known to fail due to excessive head parking.
    The price should be dropping faster there is no shortage, i can order as many as i want from my supplier so what is taking them so long to put drives back to normal prices i smell collusion here won't be surprised to find wd and seagate working on a price fixing scheme.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , April 30, 2012 11:46 PM
    spectrewindIMO: WD > Seagate just on the warranty alone.I own both. I have been through the warranty process of both. I seem to see equal product failures between them. Seagate wants log files from SEATOOLs. They also want users to make use of the spare sector feature in seatools to "fix" hard drives that are going bad before sending them in.WD, on the other hand, will accept a WDDIAGS error result code in their website (consumer grade, RE edition, etc) and let you choose to do an advanced replacement (give them your CC and they will send you a replacement drive first).I have used the WD advanced replacement program several times form myself and for corporate use. It has always worked. Since the drives are mechanical, and all drives will eventually fail, guaranteed, I want one with a user-friendly warranty service.Just my practical approach. It works for me.


    i had 6 hdd failures with seagate 1.5tb drives, and i had the easy warranty replace without any kind of code needing to give them. this was about a year ago now, but their return is excellent at least in my experience, and the person i talked to sounded like they were in america.

    drwho1Is been a long time since I have seen a decent 2TB drive for $79 dollars.I'm pretty sure that they hit a little lower than that just 3 days before this whole fiasco.Yes, I still call it a fiasco, because that's what this whole thing has been.If it wasn't then how did they instantly triple the price on the drives?Drives that were already on US soil, drives that never got wet?Now 2TB are just too small for my needs, I will wait a bit longer until at least 4TB are around $100.... or lower. (my real target are 5TB, which we should had already, but with all this fiasco I guess is going to get a bit longer to get them.)


    im waiting on a 4tb hitting 200

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